|Star Trek: Phoenix - Home (S1 E10 Season Finale)|
|Written by Andy Davenport|
The debriefing had been lengthy at best whilst Ensign Markey and Lieutenant Dantuma reported on their experiences at being deposited in time a century earlier. The senior staff had various expressions that consisted of awe, envy, and amazement. At the same time they conveyed a respectful sadness for the loss of their Chief Engineer Kenneth Mumford. But the most awe inspiring feeling was to be present on the legendary starship, the Constitution Class U.S.S. Exeter. Granted, it didn’t have the vastness and comfort of vessels built a century later, but here they were conducting a meeting inside the historic starship. Although the crew had made history themselves, the Exeter and its previous Captain, Ronald Tracey, had made history too. Unfortunately its Captain had become infamous for losing focus and corrupting a society at war with each other. The two officers who had returned on the Exeter had been saddened to hear of the events that had befell the Phoenix, their friends, and their colleagues.
Bizarrely, and unexpectedly, once all the crew had transported aboard the Exeter, the faux Phoenix had simply vanished as if it wasn’t there to begin with. The Chief Medical Officer, Doctor Kurt Coey, had mused that although space was filled with the unknown, the weird, and the downright strange, the vanishing of the faux Phoenix was just another of those odd events to add to their list of recent experiences. Yet he knew that being assigned to the away team to secure the Exodus meant that things were about to get even stranger. Lieutenant Reza Babai, Rez to his friends, had finally returned to duty with his first away mission assigned to the team sent over to the Exodus. As part of preparation for an away mission, he ran some preliminary scans of the vessel. There had been concerns voiced over what awaited them such as a suggested worst case scenario of an enraged psychotic Admiral William Ross leading his crew of Starfleet officers on a destructive rampage against the intruding officers. Starfleet against Starfleet. To his horror the sensors had registered that the Exodus had been flooded with Nestocine gas; a highly and instantaneously lethal toxin to most humanoids. The sensors also shown that there was only one life sign, which seemed to appear and disappear from readings. Ultimately, the intermittent life sign reading faded from the equipment readouts. Speaking through the communicator system embedded in the breathing mask, Kurt announced his prognosis; “Well, Bill Ross is either dead, but then i don’t believe he would let us take his prototype baby without a fight. This ship is years ahead of scheduled development. Watch your backs everyone, the morgue is low on room to rent.” The standard issue wrist torches illuminated the dark corridors and danced across the walls creating a myriad of shapes against the blackness. Even though it was against standard regulations for flag officers to go on away missions as a ship needed its Captain, Simon had argued with Commander Davenport that he had no ship that he was officially assigned to, to speak of, so the rule didn’t apply. Captain Hodgkinson led the team upfront, followed keenly by his first officer and the Doctor, with the Chief Of Security protecting the rear. During the normal day to day operation of a starship, the corridors the away team traversed would be well lit, bright, and airy, with flurries of activity as staff went about their daily duties. But the corridors of the Exodus were as welcoming as a hive of Denebian slime devils. Although it was part of the job description, Doctor Coey thanked whichever deity presided over them that they had masks on, in case of the worst case scenario of smells of decomposing flesh assaulted the senses. Situations like these were all too familiar to him to the point where he would expect the worst and hope for the best. He certainly hoped that the death count was less than zero, but expected that there would be some casualties. Nestocine gas was highly lethal and not only would cause asphyxiation to an unfortunate victim, but also would rot them from the inside out at an accelerated pace. Lighting on the walls and overhead flickered intermittingly as it appeared that an attempt to bring back online emergency power was being made. Although it seemed partial, unstable power fluctuations were present due to the flickering lights, and that gravity was barely present. Rez could swear he could feel the thudding of his heart against his ribcage, as his throat felt dry, his breath laboured, and his brow slightly perspired. Instinctively Kurt requested ceasing of movement as he checked the Chief Of Security. “Easy Rez, easy. Control your breathing before you hyperventilate.” As the Doctor started to breathe rhythmically at a steady pace, he encouraged the co-holder of the record for free climbing El Capitan to do the same. Simon knew that they weren’t far from one of the turboshafts that serviced the bridge. If it was out of action, like most of the vessel, it was either a jaunt up the many flights of stairs, or climbing the rungs of a turboshaft that would take them to the Admiral’s last known location. “We are near a turboshaft according to my scanner. It leads to the bridge a few decks up, which was the last scanned location of Ross. Rez, if you can manage it, we need to get moving. If not, the Doc can stay with you until we have full control of the vessel.” Q sighed at the thought of exhaustion he would feel thanks to his punishment of living out his days in a frail human vessel. He approached Rez and urged Kurt to step aside, as he placed his hands on each side of Rez’s face, whilst locking eyes. “You can do this. You’ve been through worse. This away mission is a walk in the park compared to some of your past one’s.” Rez managed to find the calm centre within the raging storm he felt inside, and just for a moment, he could have sworn he saw stars twinkle in the former gods’ eyes.
The NX Delta transwarp test flight preparations were going ahead as planned as the countdown neared the jump point. Gulliver monitored the engines whilst Ken concentrated on piloting and navigating the small craft. An ominous beep and red light flashed up on Gulliver’s console as he registered an imbalance in the power matrix of the transwarp core, which seemed to stabilize as soon as it had started. But the energy that had been created by the momentary instability had caused a power surge, which started to crackle through internal circuitry. Ken noticed the surge but was too late to warn Gulliver as the crackle shot out of his console, and surrounded him in a plasma charge. As he jumped out of his seat, everything seemed to slow down as he grabbed a medkit and tended to Gulliver’s burns, and stabilised him enough so he could be treated further at a hospital. The flight was aborted, and Ken piloted the ship back to the shuttlebay of the Enterprise.
Sodak’s recently acquired stoic Vulcan demeanour and reserve crumbled away in an instant as he stood before the immense Preserver obelisk. Around it tendrils of electrical energy crackled and cascaded downwards and upwards on the behemoth. As he rested his hands on the metal guard rail over the circular platform surrounding the ancient super structure, he whistled. He mused that if those who had kidnapped Delix discovered this, it wouldn’t bode well for the quadrants. He surveyed the complex and noted drones working frantically at console banks, preparing for whatever Manyx had instructed and informed them of what was to come. Sodak felt like his arms were about to be torn from his torso as Manyx displayed a surprising strength, gripped him, and pivoted him to face him. “Preserver. Did you say Preserver?! Our fathers. Our mothers. Our creators. Our gods.” Puzzled by the excitement and animation displayed by the Primaxian, Sodak continued to listen, and to try and make sense of the babbling. “I haven’t heard the mention of their names for as long as i can remember.” Manyx went on to explain in a way as if he were telling a story from the viewpoint of someone who had lived through and experienced the events. The Preservers, as far as Manyx was aware with the knowledge given to him, were the first sentient race of the Milky Way Galaxy. They were all powerful and intelligent in nature, yet alone and not satisfied with living their lives in paradise. As the galaxy took shape, and star systems with planetoids formed throughout the quadrants, the Preservers watched in awe and wonder. Their biggest concern being that would the many races leaping from their cradles of single celled basic structures of amino acids, treat their planet and galaxy the same way the Preservers did. The Preservers most cherished belief was in the sanctuary of life and the wonder of creation. To them, it was a gift bestowed upon the blessed and the fortunate that as quickly offered, could so easily be taken away. As the Preservers revelled in their paradise and lived as one with their birthplace, they watched, waited and listened. The Betans on the third planet of their solar system gradually evolved to a humanoid form, much in the same configuration as the Preservers. The Betans lived in a similar idyllic society, although not at the same technological level as the more advanced Preservers. In the system home to the star christened 40 Eridani A, proto-Vulcanoids rapidly evolved physically, and although similar to most evolving humanoids, the only visible traits that differentiated them were their pronounced forehead, emphasised eyebrows, and pointed ears. However, there were many physiological traits that set them apart from other emerging races due to the harsh climate on their planet caused by their sun. On Andor, as the Andorians and Aenar arose from the viscous maw of multi celled amoebas, the Preservers focused on the Vulcanoids. Although their homeworld was not a paradise as such, it had been a miracle that out of such inhospitable conditions, and sulphur filled skies, that a race could be born. It was just one of many examples of how life would, could and always find a way. Against all odds, the Vulcanoids strove to survive and the Preservers started to muse that although there seemed to be a generic design across the galaxy emerging, it was laced with ironies and chaos. They watched over time as the green blood of Vulcans stained the Plains Of Gol, in conflict after bloody conflict. It was then postulated that the road to harmony wouldn’t be as easy for all species as it was for the Preservers, with their monitoring of the emerging Human species giving cause for concern. It was decided that several measures needed to be put in place. Because of detritus and debris left over from the violent formation of planets, it was only a matter of time before rocks would fall from the sky on the many worlds in their path. A deflector was constructed out of Kalmacite, and formed into the shape of a gigantic triangular like obelisk, and placed quietly on as many worlds as possible. Kalmacite was the perfect choice of material that would harmonically amplify a beam to deflect meteorites, and also create a protective shield strong enough to protect a world and its inhabitants. Also, from an aesthetic point of view, the device was placed where it would blend in with a planet’s surroundings like some ancient artefact from some bygone time. A successful test meant that the prototype obelisk would be replicated and placed across the galaxy where it was deemed necessary. As a backup plan, duplicate planets were created in secret locations across the galaxy. “We, the Primaxians, were one race of many, as the Preservers own backup plan. Our mandate was and still is to observe, to guide, and to preserve.” Some of our own lost their way, just as some of the other races were being groomed as part of the backup plan across the galaxy.” Sodak marvelled at the machines revelations and truly felt that he had sought out a new life and new civilisation, whilst discovering the missing pieces of the Preserver puzzle. Ever since the discovery of the first obelisk on Amerind during an away mission under Captain James T. Kirk of the U.S.S. Enterprise, more were discovered over the course of the subsequent decades and well into the 24th century. It had been rumoured that as in Kirk’s day, Earth like planets that were almost carbon copies of the home of humankind, had been discovered by deep space exploratory missions. The rumours hadn’t stopped there as discoveries were made of planets similar to Andor, Tellar, Qonos, Alpha Centauri, Vulcan, Denobula Triaxia, Betazed, and other Federation worlds. The utmost measures of secrecy had been put into place, and if anyone asked any questions, just like the sensitivity during the Genesis crisis, Federation security would issue warnings to those that the topic of discussion was taboo and not for frivolous conversation. Sodak mused though that although there were probably starships patrolling such areas where the cloned planets fell into Federation space, absolute power corrupted absolutely, and that rumours always came from a source that was closer to the truth. Manyx gripped Sodak again with his metallic hands. “You speak of the Preservers as if you know them, and are familiar with them. If that is the case, then upon the culmination of my mission and the return of my people, you must show them. You must take me to them. I have to tell them our work is done. My subterranean vessel is also capable of atmospheric flight and space travel.” Sodak relayed the evidence he knew of and the rumours he was aware of that seemed to tally with Manyx’s story. “A man of flesh and blood, not of this world, will descend from the sky, and chance upon the Guardians, whom has been touched by the gods.” Manyx seemed to be in a hypnotic trance as he seemed to stare off into the distance, whilst reciting the passage that Sodak understood was clearly something that had been spoken of throughout the ages. The drones skittered away from their workstations and disappeared behind doors that seemed to appear out of nowhere in the walls, that to Sodak clearly weren’t there before. The obelisk crackled with energy that pulsated with urgency, and was alive with more power than when Sodak had initially laid his eyes on it. Manyx looked in the direction of the looming leviathan. “The moment is upon us my Vulcan friend.”
The task of climbing the service ladders of the turboshaft was an arduous one. But as Starfleet officers, and part of training drills in a ship wide power failure, hijack, or similar event, where maintenance access routes and service ways had to be used, they were more than experienced to handle it. Commander Davenport fared a little less well than the others due to his continual respiratory problems that plagued him such as asthma. However, with years of medicinal and self control, as well as getting used to the affliction, he knew its limitations and how he could overcome them. The irony of living in a future where weather grids were created to control the elements, yet some problems that had plagues humankind for centuries had yet to be solved. There was one member of the away team who ascended the sporadically illuminated shaft that had no Starfleet training or related experience. With each grasp of a rung, Q felt his weight increase exponentially, whilst he gasped as his lungs burned with the increase in required oxygen. His arms felt like lead, but he knew he had to continue on as the alternative wasn’t even worth considering. He had failed in his existence as a god, and even though the punishment given to him by his former superiors for his continual misdeeds was to live out his life in human form, he started to think that in some twisted way, he had been given a second chance. Therefore, he couldn’t even give consideration to letting go of the rungs, and continued to ascend, although at a slower pace than the others. Q couldn’t help but wonder if the second chance he had been given was also a test.
Panels were stacked haphazardly exposing the circuitry behind the service point hatches on the bridge, as Admiral Ross worked frantically to restore emergency power. During normal ship operations, it would be considered a health and safety risk to have so many panels open and said panels scattered and stacked all over the bridge. But this was far from the normal day to day operations, and an emergency situation. Bill’s top priority was to get emergency power back online. Briefly, after being hit by the shockwave from the subspace tear, the Exodus barely survived on emergency power. Then the crew mutinied against the Admiral’s plans, which was something he had anticipated for and created a contingency plan in the unfortunate, and what he thought would be a very unlikely event. Releasing the toxic gas throughout the ship used up the last bit of power left and blew some relays in the process. As bodies lay rotting all over the dark bridge, the Exodus was officially a ghost ship. As soon as some semblance of power was restored, he vowed to open all the airlocks to vent the gas, the bodies, and anyone who had dared board the vessel. As he surmised that it was highly likely that there would be an away team aboard, his concentration slipped as a mild shock sparked onto his hand. As he rubbed the sore area, the two relays he had attached by bypassing a lot of circuit breakers and fail safes started to emit a hum, as emergency lighting restored itself on the bridge. As he slowly attempted to maneuveur from out of the access panel to stand up and survey the illuminated bridge, he was greeted by his visitors. “Admiral William Ross. Stand down and surrender the vessel.”
On the Exeter, considering recent events and the crew of the late starship Phoenix’s current situation, the bridge was exceptionally quiet. Ensign Markey sat in the Captain’s chair, completely focused on the situation, the incoming reports, and the view of the Exodus on the main screen. Manning the helm, Lieutenant Dantuma felt comfortable flying a ship, no matter what century the vessel came from. Although he was the highest ranking officer of the senior staff present, being a pilot was his first love. Ever since his Academy days and volunteering to help out whilst learning through practice such as on the Jovian run, flying was in his blood. Yet here he was again, experiencing another golden opportunity in the form of flying what he had only read about. It wasn’t everyday that the moment presented itself in the form of a chance to fly a Constitution Class vessel. Maybe one day he would take the relevant path that would give him the opportunity to lead a vessel and its crew, but as of now he was happy as a pig in mud. He turned to face Craig, and smiled; “It suits you. The role of Captain. In command. Perhaps you could break James T. Kirk’s record that still stands for being the youngest officer to attain the Captaincy of a starship.” “If there’s one thing i have learned over these past few months is that never say never.” With that comment, Craig smiled, whilst at the same time he couldn’t help but notice a nagging feeling in his gut that it shouldn’t be him sat in the big chair, but the highest ranking officer of the senior staff. At the science station, Lieutenant Miller was observing events on the station readouts and noticed a sudden spike which indicated a surge in power that was coming from the Exodus. “Emergency power has been restored, but barely.” Craig nodded in acknowledgement as he had already prepared for any eventuality by raising the shields as soon as the away team had transported over to the Exodus. Counsellor Walker paced slowly around the bridge, with her hands comfortably grasped behind her back. The decibel level was unnaturally quiet considering the situation. But then the crew could just be intensely focusing on their duties, or in shock, she mused. As a Counsellor armed with various knowledge of dealing with traumatic situations such as starship loss, their current situation was breaking new ground in her field. Here they all were, manning a famous century old starship that was the stuff of legends, academy classes, and text books. Her immediate thoughts were that the crew should be babbling in awe of what they were experiencing, but then those thoughts led to other concerns. Maybe the crew was burnt out physically, emotionally, and mentally. She hoped that wasn’t the case, otherwise another crisis could cause the crew to snap, and that wouldn’t bode well in a situation as extreme as a fight for survival. The other thought that crossed her mind as she walked past the viewscreen, deep in thought, whilst Craig fidgeted in the Captain’s chair as she obstructed his view, was that the crew, especially the more inexperienced members were genuinely in shock. But that thought wasn’t at the top of her worry list. Perhaps she was looking too hard for a reason, and there was actually a very simple explanation. Maybe they were simply Starfleet officers who had been trained so well at the Academy to deal with most, if not all situations. This was just another of those situations that they had been trained to deal with, and if this was the explanation for the intensely focused behaviour of the crew, then they were not only a testament to their training, but to Starfleet themselves. Kirsty stopped pacing and found herself talking out loud. “Yes! That must be the reason. Everyone is just doing their job!” Everyone paused in their duties and stared at Kirsty.
As both vessels hung in space against the backdrop of stars and newly formed phenomenon, the Romulans Tears, the contrasts were striking although the evolution could clearly be traced comparing the Exeter with the newer Exodus. The Exeter was like all other Constitution Class vessels of its time still in service. Most of the vessels had endured a good two decades of service with constant upgrades, refits, maintenance, and change of crew. The Exeter’s next upgrade would have been the mammoth engineering project that was ordered by Starfleet, to completely refit the remaining active vessels up to what was termed the Enterprise sub class. All remaining starships underwent a radical overhaul almost creating an entirely new vessel, upon their return from each respective five year mission. The legendary engineer Montgomery Scott would be the one overseeing the refit of the starship Enterprise, and probably had a hand in assisting the other engineers and teams across the project. The classic lines of the Exeter from the standard saucer, hull, and twin nacelle configuration were considerably different aesthetically to the Exodus, yet the lineage in design, technical, and engineering evolution was apparent. The Exodus had a saucer section that really wasn’t in the shape of a saucer at all. The front section was more raised in curvature at the highest peak which was the bridge location, and was elongated to a tapered point at the nose. An overhead view of that section would show it looked like a stretched triangle, and took its design cues from the recently built Dauntless Class, which was created from information gathered by the crew of the U.S.S. Voyager during one of their encounters in the Delta Quadrant. Unlike the Exeter, the underside of the front section was recessed, and had no separating swan neck to connect the section to the engineering hull. The Exodus Class took a lot of design cues from the Dauntless Class, and apart from a heavier arsenal, and four nacelles instead of two, was similar in many respects. As the crew of the Exeter watched and waited, they hoped that it wouldn’t come to them going into battle against the more powerful vessel.
The air was alive with static from the energy generated from the obelisk. The gargantuan monolith crackled with tendrils of electrical pulses that covered the object whilst cascading in all directions. It reminded Sodak of some of the electrical storms on Vulcan usually preceded by an intense release of energy from the overflowing cracks in the crust of spewing magma, and several volcanic eruptions. But Vulcan wouldn’t be Vulcan without the near inhospitable conditions, and Vulcans wouldn’t be the tempered, logical and spiritual race they were now if it wasn’t for the lessons learned, the spirits forged, and the sacrifices made. If a species could survive on a planet wracked with generations of seismic activity, than other species had a lot to live up to. Manyx made a few adjustments to dials, threw a few levers, checked some readouts, and pushed a number of buttons. Sodak noticed the similarities between the way the Primaxian operated the consoles, and the looming sparking leviathan, of an old Earth movie that Kirsty had introduced him to him. She encouraged him to indulge in the whim to show what she considered a classic horror movie of the time, and that she remarked that Frankenstein was in some way like a Vulcan following the path of Surak. Cold, logical, emotionless, and no idea how to deal with the various conditions and states brought on by emotions. Sodak, although not a logical Vulcan logical at the time, had still felt slightly insulted by the remark, and that night had retired to his cabin alone, aboard the Saratoga. It was then that he realised he missed those days before the Borg came and the vessel was destroyed at Wolf 359. They were good days and good years, with life seeming so much simpler. Then he realised he missed Kirsty, who he knew would wither still be grieving assuming he had been lost with the others amidst the destruction of the Phoenix, or she had moved on. His decision to follow the path of Surak and purge his emotions really had come too late. He was well versed in his emotional side and to repress and cleanse that which he had embraced all his life would take many years more than average, if they could be cleansed at all during this point. As Manyx mouthed some words to him and pressed the activation button, he vowed to himself and whichever deity’s were listening, that he would try his very best and make things right. Even though he knew that it could be a case of too little, too late.
The pinnacle of the structure glared brilliantly as the tendrils of energy all snaked towards the light. Gathering together at speed at the focal point and culminating in a giant pulse of light, the focused energy ripple outwards. Across the surface of Parcha, as it was known on most species star charts and known to most cartographers, was slowly being transformed back to its original state aeons before. The dry, desert like sphere, and humid climate prone to firestorms, gradually was no more as various ecosystems were created instead. Like a painter creating a masterpiece on a giant canvass of the cosmos, Primaxia started to shine again. Manyx also knew the consequences of the release of such energy as the approaching Starfleet vessels loyal to Admiral Ross were rendered inert. Pirouetting out of control with no conscious officer to command them, the vessels would remain motionless until their fried circuitry could be repaired at a shipyard. The ripple continued outwards slowly dissipating, but before disappearing completely, still packed enough of a punch to wipe out the secret Starfleet installation and staging area of the planned Gamma Quadrant invasion. The unconscious inhabitants at best would have emergency power to supply them with a minimal oxygen supply until a rescue arrived, if one came at all. Primaxia was once again a thriving paradise teeming with flora and fauna. The underground metropolis had risen to the surface where it once proudly sat, to once more regain its name of First City. Pockets of space around the planet started to open and display swirling phenomena similar to a vortex, whilst elongated elegant silver vessels of a mammoth size exited the apertures, entered the planets atmosphere, and docked at the spaceports of the First City. In a blinding flash of light, Manyx had transported both himself and Sodak to greet the arrival of the lead ship. Zephyx and his team disembarked the vessel, whilst Sodak couldn’t help but notice that this particular man machine had an air of royalty about him, clearly accentuated by his flowing, jewel encrusted cloak. With a resounding metallic clang, Manyx and Zephyx embraced, as Sodak and Zephyx entourage looked on. “Brother, you made it back, but with less numbers than you departed with.” Zephyx voice boomed and echoed in a way that clearly demanded respect and attention, whilst his mannerisms with random gesticulation indicated confidence. “Many sacrifices were made and general losses, and in all the time we have been present as Guardians, there have been hard decisions to make. The Delta Quadrant is unforgiving, and out of the four quadrants of the Milky Way, the stars there are the most unfriendly.” Sodak felt honoured being privy to a truly pivotal and historical moment, yet felt it was also time that he returned to Earth and rejoin the crew of the late Phoenix. Manyx anticipated Sodak’s request to return and felt to speed up the conversation, his tendrils linked to the head ports on Zephyx. Zephyx saw all and realised that Manyx was leaving to embark on a journey that was his destiny. Zephyx understood that upon mention of the Preserver gods, that relics had been discovered, which may lead to the creators themselves, if there were any still alive. There also was always the possibility of relics falling into the wrong hands, with those who acquired them finding a way to activate such finds, and possibly causing destruction. The Preservers primary belief was to preserve, and had created many mechanisms to aid them in this task. Manyx destiny was to preserve and watch over the First City and Primaxia as best as possible until the return of the other Primaxians. It had also been written in lore that the Preservers name would be spoken again in such a way as if the creators were still present. The metallic tendrils retracted as Zephyx placed each of his hands on Manyx and Sodak’s shoulder, who were subsequently engulfed in a brilliant white light. The silver dart like vessel that they found themselves on awaited their commands as they sat in the cockpit chairs. Sodak turned to Manyx and uttered one word. “Earth.”
It all happened in slow motion, yet could only be a trick of the mind, unless the masks were failing to protect them from the effects of the gas. The only explanation could be that it was one of Q’s tricks. However, that couldn’t be either as it was very apparent that Q wasn’t trying to con them. His punishment was real and he was as human as humanly possible, and had shown real fear when several of the crew had to be restrained from breaking his nose for previous pranks he had played on them, and situations he had put them through. In his hands, Admiral Ross held a Varon-T disruptor, and as his hand violently shook as he raised the weapon, he felt as if he had nothing to lose. The disruptor itself was an illegal weapon in the Federation, but it was too late for Ross to care as he had left his conscience at the door when he had joined Section 31, just prior to the conference on Romulus during the Dominion War. His palms sweated profusely as he tried to strengthen his grip, whilst his fingers slowly curled around the firing button. He saw all the lives lost, and the worlds destroyed, all in the name of his warped reasoning that the Federation had to be protected. If it meant that it was a safe place to be thanks to the genocide of a few races that were considered security threats, the manipulation of prominent leaders, and a number of veiled threats, than he had done his job. The manipulation of the Romulans during the Dominion War, the slaying of the royal family of Xado, and even the manipulation of the evolution of the Reel and Sireel races of Eyris X, right up to the death sentence passed on the Exodus crew and their mutiny by releasing toxic gas throughout, flashed before his eyes. Just like all the transgressions past, he felt no mercy as he applied pressure to the trigger. Inside the disruptor, the button clicked against a lever that activated the power cells, releasing energy surging to the firing coils as they warmed up through the complete spectrum of red, yellow, and orange, to white hot. The pulse then released itself firing out of the barrel. There was no way to divert the lancing disruptor beam as it journeyed on its direct path towards the Captain. Shoulder barging him out of harm’s way, Q managed to show an uncharacteristic display of selflessness, and took the full brunt of the blast. The energy bolt ripped apart his human molecules and dna, slowly vaporising him. Simon fired his phaser which struck the megalomaniacal Admiral with a killing blow, Q’s last screams still echoed off the walls, and rang disturbingly in the officer’s ears.
The silence of the Primaxian vessel was overwhelming as they travelled through what Sodak termed a variation of subspace under warp conditions. Manyx corrected himself and explained in detail that they were travelling through a network of ancient corridors that traversed the length and breadth of the galaxy. It wasn’t breaking through the warp barrier as such as there was no acceleration required to punch through. To access the Underpass, as the Primaxians termed it, their vessels had to solely adjust their navigational deflectors to emit a deviron pulse, and adjust their shield harmonics. Of course, this was all automated and was activated by a single push of a button as Manyx and his people had years of practice and experience. Sodak had travelled at warp speed where the familiar pinpricks of light know as stars would appear to streak past at extreme velocities. He had also travelled at slipstream velocities where space would appear like a tunnel, but travelling through the Underpass was unlike any other method of travel he had experienced so far. The pulse would initiate a flash of light followed by an appearance of a vortex in space, which the vessel would then enter. As they entered the Underpass, (or Underspace as Sodak had coined it as he felt it was more of a relevant title), space was literally like a corridor with the surrounding walls shimmering with various colours. There were, according to many, an unaccountable amount of these space ways, so a vortex could be attempted to be opened anywhere, and there would probably be a corridor present. As they travelled onwards, a monitor announced they had company, and as Manyx checked his readings, he gave a warning to Sodak. “Hold on!” They were exiting Underspace through a vortex, which promptly closed in the same flash of light that it had opened. Manyx consulted his arm rest readout which had various toggles, switches, and lights. One of the lights next to a small speaker flashed to announce a hail from one of the two starships that were clearly Federation in origin, which they could see outside the cockpit window. Manyx indicated to Sodak on his respective armrest which button to press to respond to the hail, as he felt that the Vulcan was the best person to respond. “Exeter. This is Sodak. Mr. Markey, it is good to hear your voice again.”
The humanoids adorned in hooded white robes that concealed their bodies, apart from their hands carrying torches aflame, walked to each side of the mass of branches and wood. Atop the pyre, still dressed in his Starfleet uniform lay Q. With his arms folded over his torso, an individual coin was placed on each closed eye. The hooded torch bearers stopped at either side of the pyre, and looking over Q whilst facing each other, started to chant an incomprehensible incantation. Whilst still chanting, they slowly lowered their torches with the intent of lighting the pyre and sending the lifeless Q to whatever transpired for their afterlife. Before the torches came within setting the pyre alight, Q shot up scattering the coins from his eyes. “What kind of sick joke is this?!!” The hooded figures blew out the torches and lowered them, whilst removing their hoods. With a wry smile, one of the elders couldn’t help themselves by passing a sarcastic comment. “Q! You’ve never looked better!” The other elder, with a more serious tone and look addressed the outcast. “Even as a human, you still can’t help but get yourself into trouble somehow.” The more sarcastic of the two snapped his fingers, and like before, Q was once again stood before the Council Of Elders. “Your sacrifice has been noted. Whether it was selfless or just a way to end your human existence, we will never know for sure. We hope it was the former, which if it is the case was an outstanding act of compassion for your fellow human. With that in mind, all past transgressions have been wiped clean. However, there are conditions to be met such as continuing the behaviour you displayed saving the life of a sentient being. Although not the most redeemable of species, there are others across the galaxy that could do with the timely arrival of divine intervention in their hour of need.” Shocked at the turn of events, Q could merely raise an eyebrow at what was occurring. When he was last before the council with his usual air of smugness and defiance, they had condemned him to live amongst humans as an outcast of the Q. Now because of an act of bravery, or stupidity as he also categorised it, they had welcomed him back to the Continuum and returned his powers. One of the lead elders stood up to address Q and raised his arms whilst grasping his hands to clap, rather than snap his fingers. As he began to clap his hands to flash Q away, he uttered words that rang out in Q’s mind. The words Q himself had used during his first encounter with Jean Luc Picard, when he put humanity on trial; “We’ll be watching you.”
Captain’s Log. The cleanup operation of the Exodus was a monumental task performed diligently by the crew of the late Phoenix....nay, the current crew of the Exeter. The engineering team worked round the clock trying to restore power to the ship, dealing with a lot of unknown technological advancements in the process. Once the gas had been completely vented, and oxygen fully restored, there was then the task of removing the pungent smell of death that lingered throughout the ship from the rotting corpses of the former crew. As professional as ever, Doctor Coey and the medical staff removed the decaying bodies without a single complaint between them. The morgues of both the Exeter and the Exodus are near capacity, and frankly it’s a morbid picture that i do not want to paint in my mind. We’ve experienced in a short space of time during our mission more than most crew’s experience during several years on deep space exploration missions. Now we face the uncertainty of heading home and explaining the loss of the Phoenix, facing the families of the departed, explaining the circumstances surrounding the reappearance of the one hundred year old plus Exeter, and the unregistered Exodus of the late Admiral William Ross and his nefarious plans. With any luck we’ll still be commissioned officers in the fleet....albeit scrubbing plasma conduits on a Starfleet tug.
First Officers Log. The whole senior staff as well as the members of the crew, who were acquainted with Sodak like me, is still reeling from his return. However, he wasn’t alone and has brought along a member of the late Lieutenant Klix species; the Primaxian Manyx. He has requested that he wishes to join us on our exploration of the cosmos in the hopes of finding his creators, the Preservers. With a depleted crew we need all the extra help we can muster, however he is aware that once we return to Earth we are uncertain if we have a future in Starfleet. Even in the light of such circumstances, Manyx is still positive as is looking forward to seeing Earth for the first time in his age old existence, and indulging himself in new experiences. After all, he has spent an age, by Sodak’s reports, looking after Primaxia and waiting the return of the Guardians. The ship they arrived on was best described as a shiny, silver dart which disappeared once they had transported aboard. When prompted as to why his vessel faded from existence, Manyx explained like all things, matter is the basic construct. The ship, like the Phoenix clone, simply dissolved back to its former state of particles of matter. As we prepare to head back to Earth to meet our fate, the mood on both starships is somewhat quiet and introspective. Captain Hodgkinson will be leading the Exodus home whilst i will remain on board the Exeter. We have decided in the expected case we lose our standing in Starfleet, to continue with Ensign Markey’s on the job training. Therefore he will be remaining as the acting Captain of the Exeter, and i will be acting First Officer. Just to keep him grounded, i sarcastically reminded him that i hoped that he wouldn’t share the same fate as the previous flag officer, Captain Ronald Tracy.
Chief Science Officers Log. Such a lot has happened during my brief stint and new start with the crew of the late Phoenix. I never got to know the starship nor work with the crew properly as from the moment i was collected from Athena Sirius, we have been thrust into situation after situation. The Kelnar. I wonder what became of them and also the Gavvadar. According to Manyx they were one of the first races and before their species divided were known as the Sirians. Sought out by other races for their technological fate and their spiritual wisdom. Perhaps it is up to us to revisit them at some point and clean up the mess we made. This all depends on what awaits us on our return. Manyx has explained he will need the assistant of my science expertise and my team, if we get reassigned a starship. If we don’t, than i am unsure how he will fulfil his destiny of trying to find his creators.
Chief Medical Officers Log. Of all the luck in the galaxy, i get the chance to work in a sickbay that is at the forefront of frontier medicines, such as the one on the Exeter, and i have ended up in a god damn computer centre on the Exodus. The more new technology is invented and adapted in the medical field, the more you take away the human element. I am proud to serve with what i perceive to be the best medical staff in recent times to have graduated out of Starfleet Medical. The Captain is compiling his reports ready for our return, and my own report which will be submitted amongst them will be full of glowing praise and recommendations. I’ll have to continue this log later as for some reason the jittery Emergency Medical Hologram has been activated. It reminds me too much of some the raw recruits who were part of my medical staff under the supervision of Doctor Beverley Crusher.
The bay of the Exodus was as expected full of advanced super shuttles, and very expansive. The bay also housed three Kestrel Class attack fighters. As Craig and Duco catalogued the auxiliary craft complement, they noticed a number of shuttles of the Alpha and Delta Flyer configuration. Duco was too busy though indulging the urge to examine the fighters a lot closer. Emblazoned on the sides were the names they were christened with. “Vengeance, Vigilant, and Victory,” observed Craig. “He just couldn’t get out of war mode, and really was an old war horse eh?” replied Duco. Interrupting their conversation, the shuttlebay communication unit burst into life, but clearly the announcement was ship wide on both vessels. “All senior staff to the bridge of the Exodus and the Exeter. We are about to get underway.” Both starships pivoted on an angle readying themselves for an Earth return trajectory. With a flash of the blue nacelles of the Exodus, with no discernible emitting of light from the Exeter, both starships seemed to elongate as they simultaneously broke the warp barrier.